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Mino Raiola splashes out £7m on Al Capone's seven bedroom Miami villa as super agent starts spending fee from Paul Pogba's move to Manchester United



•           Mino Raiola earned close to £20million from Paul Pogba's move to Manchester United this summer
•           The super agent has spent big on a seven bedroom villa which was once owned by Al Capone
•           The £7million property features three buildings, a mini private beach and a large swimming pool
•           Notorious gangster Capone bought the villa in 1928 and lived there until his death in January, 1947
By JOE STRANGE FOR MAILONLINE

Mino Raiola has splashed out £7million on Al Capone's Miami villa after earning nearly three times that amount from the sale of Paul Pogba to Manchester United.
The 48-year-old super agent, who also did deals for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to move to Old Trafford, cashed in when Jose Mourinho sanctioned a world record £100m move for the Juventus star.
And Raiola has wasted no time spending his summer windfall, having completed the purchase of the stunning 6,077-square-foot south Florida property, which was once owned by the notorious gangster.



Mino Raiola has spent £7million on this stunning Miami villa, which was once owned by gangster Al Capone. The stunning seven-bedroom property is actually made up of three buildings and comes with a private beach. Capone bought the property back in 1928 and some of the original features from the Prohibition era remain. A giant chandelier hangs in one room of the south Florida home, which was recently snapped up by super agent Raiola
Sportsmail understands the Italian-born Dutch agent will pocket up to £20m from the deal which saw Pogba return to Manchester after a four-year spell in Serie A.
Raiola has decided to spend some of his fee - which was covered by United - on the historic former residence of Capone, which is actually a collection of three houses - a gatehouse, a main villa and a cabana overlooking a large private pool and Biscayne Bay.
Capone paid $40,000 for the family retreat back in 1928, although a restoration project worth more than £1m helped re-establish its Prohibition-era grandeur in 2015.
Now named 93 Palm, the seven-bedroom property still has some original light fixtures, a red coral bridge over an outdoor pond and a private dock.
Other features include a mini private beach, a seven-foot wall encircling the entire property, an Art Deco powder room and a floor-to-ceiling mosaic bathroom.
After Capone died in 1947, the property remained in his family until sometime in the 1970s, when it was bought by Henry Morrison, a Delta Airlines pilot.
After falling into disrepair during the 1980s, the house had a new drainage system installed, beams replaced and a ventilation system added before being put back on the market for nearly $10 million in 2011.
According to reports in Italy, Raiola's deal for the property was completed by Proto Group, a global real estate and finance business which also offers wealth management and business consulting services. 

A bathroom in the cabana of Raiola's new home, which was renamed '93 Palm' following a restoration project in 2015. The property features a large private swimming pool on one side and views across Biscayne Bay on the other. Capone built the front gatehouse for his guards, with the building now forming part of the 6,077-square-foot property

In Prohibition-era Detroit, a Bloody July


By Mickey Lyons

July 1930. Unemployment rates in Detroit were at a staggering 34 percent. Prohibition was law, if a poorly enforced law. The city reeled under a heat wave worse than any it had experienced in decades. Political tensions simmered, and soon all-out gang warfare erupted on the streets. Later dubbed "Bloody July," the first two weeks saw 11 murders, nine of which were tied to underworld activity. By the end of the month, the city would oust its mayor in the only successful mayoral recall in Detroit history. Further deaths that month would include a Hamtramck police officer, a black teenager in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a beloved radio host whose murder remains unsolved today.
The crime wave began and ended at the same spot, the infamous LaSalle Hotel on Woodward and Adelaide. On July 3, William Cannon and George Collins, small-time Chicago bootleggers trying to muscle in on the Detroit scene, were shot and killed by two men who would later be accused, if not successfully prosecuted, of involvement in the July 23 death of radio host Gerald E. "Jerry" Buckley in the LaSalle lobby. Panicked rush hour commuters fled their cars on Woodward, fearful of more gunfire.
As the month wore on and temperatures climbed, more deaths piled up. On July 5, Barney Roth, a Hamtramck undercover police officer, was murdered in his home alongside John Mietz, a bootlegger he was to escort to court. Two days later, after a power vacuum in the city's Italian Mafia led to vicious feuds, brothers Joe and Sam Gaglio were shot down at a gas station. Within a week, six more died in battles on Jefferson Avenue and all over town as different factions vied for control.
Meanwhile, Detroit Mayor Charles Bowles faced a bitter battle with voters as a recall petition was approved and scheduled for July 22. Petitioners charged that Bowles gave lucrative city contracts to boosters who lined their own pockets, and that Bowles was a corrupt racketeer who prevented law enforcement from stopping the increasing violence. Chief among Bowles' critics was Buckley, whose popular WCHB radio show denounced corruption in the city.
And the heat climbed. By July 12, 72 were dead from the Midwestern heat wave. By the 19th, the city was hotter than it had been in 25 years. Four people died in Detroit that day due to the heat. As the day of the recall election approached, both sides grew increasingly acrimonious. Bowles' key aides deserted him publicly, citing fraud and corruption on the mayor's part. Political factions took to the airwaves in hysterical rants against their opponents, but it soon became clear that Bowles would likely lose the vote.
On the day of the recall vote, the weather finally broke. As more than 120,000 voters headed to the polls, rain showers brought temperatures to acceptable levels. But other storms were brewing, and before the next morning, two deaths would illustrate the depths of vice to which the city had sunk. One would attract national attention for months to come; the other wasn't even reported in the papers.
Arthur Mixon was an African-American teenager who worked the city as an ice vendor. On July 22, he was tossing a ball with some friends near a barn at Hastings and Henry Street, epicenter of the Purple Gang's operations. When his ball rolled under the wall of the garage, Mixon looked through the window to see if he could find it. This caught the attention of two of the Purple Gang's "cutters" — men who diluted Canadian whisky with water and solvents and rebottled it, turning one gallon into 10 or more. Morris Raider and Phillip Keywell chased Mixon into the street and gunned him down as his friends watched in horror. Although the gunmen were quickly caught, the first trial ended in a jury deadlock, with jurors receiving death threats and bribes. The two eventually went to prison for the murder, with Keywell serving a life sentence and Raider receiving 12 to 25 years.
Mixon's death went unnoticed and unreported in the chaos surrounding the recall vote and its aftermath. By the end of the day on Tuesday, July 22, Detroit voters called by a margin of 30,956 to oust the mayor. Buckley spent all day tallying votes and reporting on the election. Shortly after midnight, he'd filed his final story when he received a phone call at the WCHB offices in the LaSalle hotel from an unidentified woman. He left shortly thereafter for the hotel lobby, where he picked up a newspaper and sat down in a chair, seemingly waiting for someone. At 1:45 a.m., three gunmen came in the front door from Woodward and opened fire, shooting Buckley with 11 bullets. They calmly walked past horrified onlookers and boarded a car driven by a woman immediately after.
Detroit was in an uproar. Rumors flew, and soon Buckley's golden reputation came under attack. Police Commissioner Thomas Wilcox, appointed by Bowles after Bowles fired his predecessor, trumped up allegations of racketeering and extortion against Buckley, but these were later proven fraudulent. Wilcox proved incompetent in handling the search for Buckley's killers, arresting and releasing dozens of suspects. Three eastside Italian gangsters were tried, but between Wilcox's tainted reputation — and witnesses and jurors so afraid of mob retaliation that they preferred prison for contempt of court to testifying — the trial ultimately ended in acquittal.
By the end of the month, temperatures had crept back up, and Detroit police and Prohibition agents were turning up the heat on its criminal element. A July 27 raid on the Grosse Pointe Village home of Joseph "Singing in the Night" Catalanotte started with a two-hour siege and ended with the arrest of four gangsters. Two of the men apprehended were accused of the July 5 murders of Roth and Mietz. Again, though, witnesses proved hostile and the case was thrown out.
On July 28, the temperature was at 100 degrees and there was no reprieve in sight for the heat wave or the crime wave. It would take years for repeal to slow the tide of Mafia activity in Detroit. Bowles lost his rerun election to Frank Murphy, who would later go on to serve in the U.S. Supreme Court and be the first to use the word "racism" in a Supreme Court decision. Unfortunately, Arthur Mixon wouldn't be around to hear it.



St. Paul's political convention history: The Prohibition Party's 1916 gathering



Let's talk about the time a political convention came to St. Paul — not the Republican gathering of 2008, but a convention that rolled in a century ago.
In 1916, the Prohibition Party rallied in St. Paul.
Writer Jack El-Hai dug into this little-known history for the website Wonders & Marvels, and he joined MPR News Tom Weber to talk about what he discovered.
The saloons were particularly quiet when the party arrived, El-Hai noted.
"The Prohibition Party is America's oldest third party that's still in operation," he said. "They began in 1869, and as their name suggests, their main thrust early on in their history was to prohibit the sale of alcohol in the United States."
With the Eighteenth Amendment looming, the St. Paul gathering "was a very critical time for the Prohibition Party. They wanted to get that amendment passed so prohibition would be enforced all around the country."
At that point, the party's victories had been small: They'd helped elect a California congressman and a Florida governor. They'd succeeded in getting a few states to pass prohibition laws of their own. But the party was aiming higher in St. Paul.
It was also a moment for an identity crisis: If prohibition became national law, what would happen to the party? Were they about to make themselves irrelevant?
They nominated J. Frank Hanly of Indiana as president. They were hoping to rake in a million votes with the election — more than they'd ever received, and enough to trounce the other large third party of the time, the Socialist Party.
But that didn't happen. Hanly garnered barely over 200,000 votes, and was heavily outpolled by the Socialists. It was a humiliating moment for the party, El-Hai said.
Though the Eighteenth Amendment was later ratified and Prohibition became law across the country, the Prohibition Party itself never rose to power.
But that doesn't mean they went away: They held a 1992 convention in Minneapolis, El-Hai noted. And they ran a candidate in 2012, who garnered 518 votes.
This year, they're still campaigning, but the costs of a convention have become too much. Jim Hedges, of Pennsylvania, won the Party's nomination this year by conference call instead.
The party's St. Paul convention in 1916 did make history in one respect, though.

A woman was put forward for nomination as vice president at the convention. She didn't get it, El-Hai said, but it was the first time a woman was considered for president or vice president by a major minor party.

Prohibition and crime collided in 1920s Illinois


By Tom Emery, ilcivilwar@yahoo.com
The passage of Prohibition in 1919 unwittingly sparked one of the more violent decades in Illinois history. The liquor still flowed freely in much of Illinois, with bootlegging operations of various criminal intent.
Some local economies were decimated by Prohibition. Peoria had earned the nickname “Whiskey Capital of the World” from its 24 breweries and 73 distilleries. Many closed during Prohibition, and even after repeal in 1933, the local industry never recovered. In northwestern Illinois, the act hammered the lucrative wine industry of Nauvoo.
But in many locales, alcohol was easy to find. Thirteen illegal taverns, called “speakeasies,” opened in the Logan County village of Mount Pulaski, attracting daily customers by rail. As trains approached the town, wry conductors called “Next stop, Vinegar Hill,” a moniker for a “wet” town derived from the practice of filling pickle or vinegar barrels with booze.
Other efforts to circumvent Prohibition had less charm. In Chicago, an organized crime body called the “syndicate” dated to the 1870s, and by the 1920s, it was an open secret. The syndicate controlled liquor, gambling and prostitution, raking in massive profits. In 1927, gross revenues reportedly reached $110 million.
The syndicate was run by a series of notorious crime bosses, most notably Al Capone, who became a Chicago celebrity, receiving huge ovations at Wrigley Field and local racetracks. Capone pointedly declared that “if people didn’t want beer and wouldn’t drink it, a fellow would be crazy for going around trying to sell it.”
He had plenty of takers. His “business” was protected by a string of bribes and buy-offs that kept judges, policemen and officials quiet. Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson freely consorted with mobsters.
Rival gangs tried to topple the syndicate, with bloody results as mob warfare escalated. The worst example was the “St. Valentine's Day Massacre” of 1929, when some of Capone’s gunmen mowed down seven members of rival Bugs Moran’s gang on Chicago’s North Side.
Elsewhere, liquor, gambling and prostitution in Rock Island were controlled by John Looney, the publisher of the Rock Island News, who bribed politicians and gunned down rival gang members. Twelve murders and three suicides were reported in Rock Island in 1922, most connected to Looney.
On Oct. 6, 1922, four former associates attempted to ambush Looney outside a downtown hotel. Looney’s 24-year-old son died in the exchange, but Looney was eventually taken down by his murder of a saloon keeper, who squealed to authorities after paying “protection money.” Looney served nine years at the Stateville Penitentiary in Joliet.
In Herrin, concerned citizens and law-enforcement officers turned to none other than the Ku Klux Klan, whose members vowed to stamp out bootlegging and gambling. The Klan hired S. Glenn Young, a self-serving former federal agent, and 500 Klansmen were deputized in December 1923. Gun battles became common between bootleggers and Klansmen, who carried weapons into courtrooms and even fired guns in a hospital.
Finally, Gov. Len Small sent in the National Guard. Young, two of his guards, and a sheriff’s deputy were killed in an Old West-style gunfight at a Herrin cigar store on Jan. 24, 1925. The last of the National Guard withdrew in the summer of 1926, but 20 men had died in two years of conflict. The flow of liquor never stopped.
A war over bootlegging subsequently broke out in the area between local boss Charlie Birger and three of the infamous Shelton brothers: Carl, Earl and Bernie. Gunfire erupted across many small towns of southern Illinois, and 14 men, including two mayors and a state policeman, eventually lost their lives.
The Shelton brothers, whose territory stretched as far as Peoria, even dropped homemade bombs from a biplane on Birger’s headquarters in Harrisburg on Nov. 12, 1926. While ineffective, the incident is considered the first aerial bombing on American soil.
Then and now, many Americans romanticize gangsters as modern-day Robin Hoods who stay a step ahead of the government, choosing to overlook their murderous ways. During Prohibition in Illinois, there was plenty of that to go around.

Tom Emery is a freelance writer and researcher who lives in Carlinville. He may be reached at 217-710-8392 or ilcivilwar@yahoo.com.

SIXTY YEARS BEFORE THE COCAINE COWBOYS, MIAMI WAS THE WILD WEST OF PROHIBITION



BY BILL COOKE

Al Capone wasn't the only bootlegger who set up shop in Miami during Prohibition.
Thanks to Scarface, Miami Vice, and Rakontur, everyone knows that 1980s Miami was the world capital of illegal substances. But few realize that 60 years before the Cocaine Cowboys era, another brand of underworld smugglers had already turned South Florida into the Wild West.
At the height of Prohibition, Dade County was a rumrunning capital where insane shootouts lit up the Miami River, bootleggers flaunted their cash on the beach, and liquor flowed in on the tides.
As historian Paul George told the Miami Herald on the 75th anniversary of Prohibition's repeal: "South Florida probably flouted Prohibition more than any other part of the country. We were called the leakiest place in the country."
Prohibition took effect January 16, 1920. The 18th Amendment, ratified the year before, prohibited the production, distribution, and sale of alcohol. Here's how the Herald's 2008 anniversary story described what came next:
In Miami and Fort Lauderdale, [the ban on booze] ushered in 13 years of illegal drinking, gambling, prostitution, rum running, high-seas machine-gun battles, public corruption and general scorn for the law. For all the notoriety of the mobbed-up '50s, the cocaine-cowboy '80s, even the hopped-up club scene of today, it was the most protracted and pervasive period of lawlessness and debauchery this region has known.
Prohibition was supposed to reduce crime and corruption and do away with a long list of social ills. Instead, it turned bootlegging into an empire that enriched the underworld. And South Florida — remote from national law enforcement, easily accessed from the sea — was the perfect hub for that illicit activity.
Miami "accepted the 'noble experiment' with high good humor in 1920," Patricia Buchanan wrote in a 1968 master's thesis for the University of Miami's history department.
Bootlegging was as much a natural tourist attraction as palm trees and sparkling Atlantic beaches. The Miami Herald was quick to point out that tourists should be handled with care as far as the Volstead Act was concerned. "Officers Carry Out Enforcement of Prohi Amendment in High-handed and Autocratic Manner" read a page one headline in the June 22, 1920 issue. The story explained that officials had searched the car of a teetotaler on his way to Miami for a dental convention, and the Herald warned, "This might affect tourist travel next winter." In addition the paper pointed out that the traveler "had also invested heavily in Miami real estate on previous visits."
Miami's first significant prohibition case came in the early spring of 1921 when New York millionaire, Harry S. Black, a part owner of the Flatiron Building, was arrested at the swank Royal Palm Hotel. He was charged with having anywhere from 20 to 53 cases of liquor aboard his private railroad car, the "Bayside," on a siding at Coconut Grove. The Miami Herald reported that ninety bottles were produced as Exhibit A at the trial; four members of the six-man jury tested the evidence; Mr. Black was acquitted in five minutes.
By the summer of 1923, just two and half years after Prohibition took effect, a Chicago newspaper called the Florida coast "a bootleggers paradise."
A Chicago Daily News reporter wrote that Miami was "a city where, if you need a drink and don't happen to have your own flask, all you need to do is wait in the shade of a palm tree until a resident comes along, ask him where you can find a bootlegger, and if he is not one himself, he will tell you where to go. You can buy all the whisky you want in Miami at $5 a quart."
 As illegal bootlegging exploded in South Florida, rumrunners began playing a cat-and-mouse game with the U.S. Coast Guard. The agency was given the task of intercepting smugglers who used speedboats — many powered by 400-horsepower World War I surplus airplane engines — to carry liquor from the Bahamas to points along the coast between Dade and Broward counties. Many times, the smugglers were able evade capture by disappearing into Miami's mangroves and canals.
But on more than one occasion, the cat-and-mouse turned deadly.
On February 24, 1926, as the sun was setting, E.W. "Red" Shannon, "King of the Florida Smugglers," approached Miami Beach in his 30-foot boat loaded with 170 cases of liquor he'd picked up at Gun Cay, near Bimini. Shannon was spotted by the crew of a Coast Guard patrol boat just south of Star Island.
In her thesis, Buchanan recounted what happened next:
The "Goose" fled north heading for the yacht basin at [Carl Fisher's] Flamingo Hotel which faced the bay at Fifteenth Street. The rum runners refused to heave to and Coast Guardsmen opened fire as the vessel neared the docks. Hotel guests attending a tea dance rushed to witness the capture. An unconscious and critically wounded Shannon was placed on a mattress on the hotel lawn and then taken to Allison Hospital on Miami Beach where he died the following morning...
The big question from the local press was, "When were the shots fired?" The Miami Herald found witnesses who stated, "The Coast Guard fired after the men had raised their hands." The Miami News, no longer the spokesman for prohibition under S. Bobo Dean, was now owned by former Governor James M. Cox of Ohio. It said: "it is known that Shannon, Nickerson and Walther ... had their hands above their heads in token surrender when guardsmen fired on them."
As the rumrunner lay dying, many of those who had witnessed the gunfire — including Carl Fisher himself — prepared to file a protest with Washington, calling the shooting of Shannon "unjustified."
Four months after Shannon's death — June 12, 1926 — the crew of a Coast Guard patrol boat chased another rumrunner up the Miami River near the Granada Grill & Apartments at 150 SE Fourth St. "Diners Flee Shots in Rum Chase," a Miami News headline screamed.
"Guests... fled terror-stricken from their rooms and dinner tables as volley after volley of shots, fired from Coast Guard Patrol Boat 297, showered about them," the News reported.
The rumrunners escaped by darting under the Miami Avenue Bridge, which was too low for the Coast Guard boat. As Boat 297 returned down river, it "was the object of cat-calls, boos, and hisses" from a crowd of spectators that had gathered, according to a Miami Herald account.
Then, on August 5, 1926 — less than two months after the Miami River shooting — seven federal Prohibition agents, who had spent the day conducting raids on moonshine stills in the Everglades, were shot at by three men on a remote road near Homestead as the agents were heading back to Miami. The agents returned fire, killing all three, who were presumed to be moonshiners, according to news reports at the time.
Three years later, on April 14, 1929, the Coast Guard made national headlines when the crew of one of its patrol boats fired an estimated 200 shots at a fleeing rumrunner on the Miami River. One bullet fired by the crew came within six inches of a woman who was sitting in bed in a houseboat on the river. More bullets were "sprayed... into the walls of the old Gautier Funeral home on West Flagler Street; one bullet was found on the chest of a corpse in a casket," the Herald's Fred Tasker reported in his 2008 story.
Miami Mayor E. G. Sewell was outraged and declared the shootings were "worse than a disease."

It didn't take long for public officials to get in on all the cash flowing from the illegal rum casks. In August 1925, the Associated Press reported that federal prisoners in the Dade County Jail were being secretly released at night "for the purpose of bootlegging."
Meanwhile, in Fort Lauderdale, booze was so plentiful that the city picked up the nickname that sticks to this day: "Fort Liquordale."
In 1927, Prohibition agents arrested dozens of Broward County deputies and police officers in what the AP called "one of the biggest liquor conspiracies and supply bases in the country."
By 1928, the king of bootlegging himself had moved to Miami Beach: Al Capone paid $40,000 for an estate on Palm Island, where he could avoid the mounting heat in Chicago. When residents passed a resolution to force him out, the mayor refused to enforce it, saying he was "no worse than a lot of others down here."
 On August 17, 1929, the war on rumrunning took a deadly serious turn when rumrunner James Horace Alderman was hanged in a seaplane hangar at the Coast Guard base in Fort Lauderdale.
Alderman had been sentenced to death for killing two Coast Guard officers during a bloody high-seas gun battle two years earlier. Alderman's death sentence was the first meted out in the war on booze and was the first execution in Broward County's history.
But South Floridians were becoming increasingly frustrated with Prohibition and what they saw as an intrusion into their God-given right to get wasted.
That annoyance was evident the night of April 7, 1932, when five Prohibition agents were met with "a display of hostility" as they attempted to raid a Miami Beach restaurant. The Miami Newsreported that the agents, fearing for their safety, barricaded themselves inside the restaurant and telephoned for help. Meanwhile, patrons outside slashed the tires of the agents' car and threatened to overturn it.
Then, on December 5, 1933 — 13 years, 10 months, and 19 days after it began — Prohibition ended.
In the 2011 PBS documentary Prohibition, Daniel Okrent, author of the book Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, asked rhetorically: "How the hell did that happen? How does a freedom-loving people, a nation that's built on individual rights and liberties, decide in one kind of crazed moment... that we can tell people how to live their lives?"


MAPPING PLACES IN AMERICA WHERE PROHIBITION NEVER ENDED



If you think that Prohibition is a thing of the past, think again. There are a surprising number of places in the U.S. where the sale and consumption of alcohol is still illegal.
The above map illustrates the places in the United States where alcohol is banned: red indicates that alcohol is forbidden from being sold, blue indicates it is allowed, and yellow indicates that the county is "partially dry;" either wet communities exist within dry counties or vice versa.
While Prohibition was repealed in 1933, many municipalities opted to keep the ban in place. Thirty-three states allow for localities to prohibit the sale of alcohol, and in some cases consumption and possession. Kansas, Tennessee and Mississippi are dry states by default and require individual counties to opt in to sell alcohol. The prohibition of alcohol comes with its own set of problems. Research conducted by economists at the University of Louisville shows that meth lab seizures in Kentucky are significantly more likely to occur in dry counties, and that drug-related crime was similarly associated with legal access to alcohol in Texas.
Though the prohibition of alcohol in this many places might seem contrary to contemporary public opinion, a 2014 CNN survey found that one in five Americans believe that the use of alcohol should be illegal.

Map Monday highlights interesting and unusual cartographic pursuits from around the world and through time. Read more Map Monday posts.

The Rienzi Hotel

The Rienzi Hotel, NE corner of Clark, Diversey and Broadway (then called Evanston Blvd), Lake View, 1908, Chicago. The Rienzi is most remembered for the sporting goods store that stood on the property, owned by Peter von Frantzius, a known gangster affiliate. The guns used during the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre were most likely provided by Frantzius from this location. 

Secret gadget to bust prohibition-era speakeasies


Robert Tetro patented this gadget in 1930 to help prohibition-era enforcement agents surreptitiously take drink samples from establishments suspected of selling alcohol. It consisted of a tube that was clipped onto a drinking glass, and a rubber bulb that could be squeezed to suck a sample of the drink for analysis.
I'll bet the agents never actually used it. They probably just got drunk at a bar, then asked the speakeasy owner for hush money. If refused, they'd stagger into their car, use the bulb to draw some hootch from their hip pocket flask and give it to the boys in the lab.



This Prohibition-Era Whiskey Cache Could Be Worth a Fortune



Rachel Tepper

Reddit user Hanshound may have stumbled on the find of a lifetime: a pristine case of Prohibition-era Old Overholt ryewhiskey dating to 1921.
“A guy had it in his cellar and was looking to get rid of it — I was at the right place at the right time,” the user posted. “The cellar was 55 degrees year round, which likely contributed to their good condition.” Although hanshound found evidence of “some evaporation… they’re pretty damn good for how old they are.”
 “For medicinal purposes only.”
So how much is the 24-bottle case of whiskey worth? The most telling clue might be the note at the bottom of the bottles’ back label, which reads “For Medicinal purposes only.” According to the Los Angeles Whiskey Society, a members-only group of whiskey aficionados specializing in collectible whiskies, alcohol was still available during Prohibition with a doctor’s prescription — imagine that — and many popular brands exploited the loophole. There are 24 bottles in Hanshound’s case, which means the cache could be worth a staggering $24,000.
We feel a little bad for whoever sold Hanshound the goods. The Reddit user writes that, “The guy I got it from had two cases originally, one of which he drank with his buddies” — oops! — “and this one he wanted to keep as a complete set, which is what I will do as well.” Hanshound wouldn’t disclose the amount paid for the case, saying only: “I think I got a good deal.”
It’s unclear, however, as to whether or not old whiskies taste better than vintages half or even a quarter of their age. “If it was aged in a barrel, those extra years might mean extra flavor,” spirits writer Kara Newman reports in Slate. “If it wasn’t, age is unlikely to correlate with quality.” Womp, womp.
They’re still cool from a historical perspective, though. And let’s be honest — we wouldn’t turn down a sip.
“Somewhat amazingly, many of these unopened pints of medicinal whiskey have survived into present day,” reads the L.A. Whiskey Society’s page on the subject. “Their value depends on condition, who distilled and bottled the whiskey inside, the brand name itself, and other factors. As of 2015, medicinal whiskey pints can individually sell for hundreds depending on condition, and around $1,000 for rare and very sought-after editions.”